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View Full Version : Accepted to Ross and Saba, MERP'ed at AUC, Placed in Foundations at SGU- Please help!



genericusername_
06-18-2015, 06:15 PM
AUC and SGU were my top choices, now I'm extremely frustrated and baffled trying to decide what I should do. As if not getting into a U.S. medical school wasn't hard enough.

My MCAT and GPA are average. I did a non-science master's degree after graduating, and really want to keep the ball rolling and start medical school. My extracurriculars and experiences are excellent. I do well in supportive environments, and that doesn't seem to be the case with Ross and Saba where they don't have a problem dropping you. I am worried that being placed in MERP and Foundations by AUC and SGU means I really need the extra semester, on the other it's hard to justify it when I have been accepted to other schools.

What concerns me most about Ross and Saba are their attrition rates. I know SGU offers a variety of programs to help students succeed, do Ross and Saba have similar services? Another concern of mine is clinical rotations. I want to settle down in NY and rotate at hospitals there during my 3rd and 4th year, but it seems like you really have to fight for your desired rotations at Ross and Saba. My third concern regarding Saba is the size of the island and lack of amenities. I don't want to go insane.

I would appreciate insight from those attending any of these school, especially Ross and Saba. Also, do you think I should start right away or spend a semester preparing myself?

Thank you for your help!

lightningstrike
06-18-2015, 10:49 PM
Hey,

As a current Saba student, I can't recommend the school to someone in your circumstances.

Saba is a decent program, but lacks the support services you want (no MBA program etc like SGU). Like you said, the attrition rate due to academic failure is fairly high and the school is not flexible on this point. Additionally good clinical rotations in New York are generally monopolized by SGU (new york city hospital contract they have until 2018 at least). So if that's your plan, SGU is your best option irrespective of being placed in the Foundations program.

In respect to Saba's amenities, the island is not for everyone due to the very small size of the island. Electricity is very stable where I live on the island, internet is expensive but mostly tolerable (5 Mbps). I personally recommend Saba to individuals who are very self-motivated as the school's administration can be very lacking. However the education is fine, and the tuition fees are lower than the other "Big 4" schools. Plus for American's Title IV loans are available. I have had a good experience with Saba for the most part, but it's certainly not for everyone.

Overall, I hope this helped. Send me a message or reply if you have further questions.

genericusername_
06-19-2015, 10:22 AM
Thank you so much for your response!! It is great to get an insider's perspective. The NY rotations are not a deal breaker as long as decent rotations are available elsewhere, and I don't have to wait months and delay graduation to get them. The high attrition rate does scare me though. What year are you, and how many classmates have you lost so far if you don't mind me asking? I heard that Saba is hard on students and doesn't mind dropping them because it doesn't have enough spots in its 3rd and 4th year; hence a lot of qualified people don't make it through. Is that true? I struggled with the MCAT, and am still getting the hang of studying for upper level classes like biochem and anatomy. Saba doesn't offer any support services like tutoring/mentoring for those that could benefit from it? Also, is the atmosphere among students supportive or cut throat?

Thank you again for taking the time to help me in my time of crisis!

lightningstrike
06-19-2015, 10:15 PM
If you aren't looking to delay graduation. Look elsewhere than Saba. The school has some decent rotations, however wait times are likely to delay graduation for someone starting in a September class. If you are starting in January or even May, then this point is of no concern and Saba is fine.

I am currently in my third semester (started in September 2014). Out of class of 104 students that started with us, 5 transferred out, 16 are repeating a class (or already have, moving them a semester behind), and 13 were either academically dismissed or left the school.

I agree that Saba is difficult, but Saba is not kicking unqualified people out. If you cannot manage the multiple choice exams the school offers, you will probably struggle with the USMLE exams. The school tends to accept people pretty easily, but will weed out those who aren't able to deal with the curriculum. The exams are generally fair, multiple-choice conducted in a computerized examination center with a pass grade of 70% on courses/exams, with your grade being presented immediately after examinations. So the marking is objective, and plenty of people are able to make it through the program. So far I have managed great grades in all my courses. The student environment is mostly supportive and hasn't felt cutthroat. Saba doesn't offer any significant support services I know of.

Overall, if you had difficulty with the MCAT or upper level sciences I would reconsider attending Saba until you are more comfortable with them.


Hope that helps.

Torontomed
06-19-2015, 11:05 PM
If you aren't looking to delay graduation. Look elsewhere than Saba. The school has some decent rotations, however wait times are likely to delay graduation for someone starting in a September class. If you are starting in January or even May, then this point is of no concern and Saba is fine.

I am currently in my third semester (started in September 2014). Out of class of 104 students that started with us, 5 transferred out, 16 are repeating a class (or already have, moving them a semester behind), and 13 were either academically dismissed or left the school.

I agree that Saba is difficult, but Saba is not kicking unqualified people out. If you cannot manage the multiple choice exams the school offers, you will probably struggle with the USMLE exams. The school tends to accept people pretty easily, but will weed out those who aren't able to deal with the curriculum. The exams are generally fair, multiple-choice conducted in a computerized examination center with a pass grade of 70% on courses/exams, with your grade being presented immediately after examinations. So the marking is objective, and plenty of people are able to make it through the program. So far I have managed great grades in all my courses. The student environment is mostly supportive and hasn't felt cutthroat. Saba doesn't offer any significant support services I know of.

Overall, if you had difficulty with the MCAT or upper level sciences I would reconsider attending Saba until you are more comfortable with them.
Hope that helps.

I had no trouble with upper level science courses but bombed the MCAT thanks to the verbal section. I'm gonna try one last time with the new MCAT to see where i stand.
Is it true that most of the students are Canadian?
Also, do you find yourself mostly memorizing a truck load of information or are the exams mostly critical thinking like the MCAT? Just trying to get a feel of how med school is really like!

fhq691
06-20-2015, 03:57 AM
I can answer questions regarding Ross considering I am 4th semester there right now and getting ready to sit for step 1 soon. The attrition rate has definitely improved at Ross and I would say the quality of the school has been greatly improved. My biggest concern coming down was the attrition rate and all the scary things I ready online about the school and the island. Honestly, You are going to see people fail a semester or even fail two semesters. I've personally seen people repeat either 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. I even have friends who repeated 1st and 3rd after petitioning to be readmitted. I've also seen other friends get 90%+ on every exam to point where they didn't have to take the final exam to pass the semester. The school doesn't fail you! Ross is not trying to get you to fail out and there is no conspiracy. It is all about how you study, how much you study, and how serious you are about passing. Those people who repeat tend to either not know how to study or manage their time effectively. Medical school's content is not necessarily difficult, it is just a lot and it can be overwhelming. Ross has so many resources to help you succeed that you literally get overwhelmed with all the tools you have. For example, We have a Becker course that we get for free for STEP and you get access to all the tools for it (question banks, videos, books), you get free one on one tutoring with an upper semester, you can visit professors during office hours and they have always been happy to help, you get a question bank that is usually very helpful when it comes to studying for tests, we have pre-mini workshops before each exam, there are anatomy TA sessions, There are reviews that different clubs conduct throughout the semester, if you fail an exam during your first semester you automatically get assigned to an adviser to go over plans and help you change your study habits, and you also get upper semesters that will overwhelm you with help, advice, files, study tips, videos, and other resources.

Regarding rotations with Ross, we are now all placed in to Tracks for core rotations (3rd year) so you will be on place for your entire third year. There are many tracks that enable you to spend your 4th year in one place as well. I just saw the schedule and we have about 17 different tracks/track dates and we are adding more. Florida, CA, NY, MD, IL, GA.....There are people that would find problems with the school and bash it but I honestly think the school gave me a great opportunity and I can't really complain much. They are doing great work with the new building and with adding resources so I highly recommend coming here. Ask anything and I will do my best to answer. Good luck!

lightningstrike
06-21-2015, 10:13 PM
I had no trouble with upper level science courses but bombed the MCAT thanks to the verbal section. I'm gonna try one last time with the new MCAT to see where i stand.
Is it true that most of the students are Canadian?
Also, do you find yourself mostly memorizing a truck load of information or are the exams mostly critical thinking like the MCAT? Just trying to get a feel of how med school is really like!

Medical school is primarily about memorizing a truck load of information. You will sometime go through 200-300 lecture slides in a day. This is simply the nature of the beast, with courses from anatomy, histology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, psychology, neuroscience, pharmacology, pathology etc.

However without critical thinking, you will struggle to answer questions which require integration. Often you will encounter a question you can't remember all the facts about, but with some critical thinking you can eliminate some of the choices to improve your odds.

Overall, medical school requires both memorizing and critical thinking. So you need to work smart and hard to be successful.







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